Evidence of climate change

Everywhere they look, scientists are finding evidence of climate change.

Mountain plants

Daniela Hohenwallner and Harald Pauli study alpine plants. Their research shows that the low-temperature tree line is shifting upwards as average temperatures increase.

"[The upward shift] drastically shrinks the alpine life zone and poses serious threats to the diverse alpine plant life."

Helianthemum alpestre

Helianthemum alpestre, common in some mountain plant communities, is one of the many threatened by climate warming. In Europe, more than 20% of all flowering plants have their center of distribution from the tree line upwards, but this area only comprises 3% of the continent.
Silene exscapa

The range of Silene exscapa—usually a pioneer species at the upper limits of mountain grasslands—has expanded over the last 10 years in the central Alps as the temperature has increased.

Photos by Harald Pauli, courtesy of Daniela Hohenwallner